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Associate Editor

Mike's Blog

By Michael Cornnell

About Michael

Michael Cornnell is Associate Editor for Promo Marketing Magazine.

 

Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
Which Version of QuickBooks Is Best for Ad Specialty Distributors?
Mar 27, 2015

There are five versions of QuickBooks, each designed for specific applications, and the ad specialty business was not one of...



Kiwi's Coaching Corner

Paul  Kiewiet
Hone
Mar 26, 2015

What are you doing to hone your skills? Hone. What a funny word! Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours...



Lights, Camera, Promotion!

Brittany Hahn
In a Relationship: The Bachelor and Power Meetings
Mar 25, 2015

My mom often tells me, "Brittany, you should apply to be a contestant on the show 'The Bachelor' to find...



Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
Industry IT Innovation
Mar 24, 2015

A small group of IT leaders is beginning to change the technology dynamics in the industry. Two years ago, a...



Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
Want to Know Who's Really Influential? We’re Going to Use Data to Find Out
Mar 20, 2015

Starting today, we are embarking on the most comprehensive search of the promotional products industry's top content providers ever done....



Jeff's Rant

Jeff Solomon, MAS
How Does Amazon’s Business Model Affect Ours?
Mar 19, 2015

Our evolving industry business model continues to be a hot topic. Recently I started wondering how an online purchasing mentality,...



Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Spring Cleaning
Mar 16, 2015

It’s that time of year when the world looks fresh and clean—for those of us with winters of snow, we...



Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
My Best Promotion: Infusing Bold Solutions & What We Do Do
Mar 4, 2015

This year, the Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable blog postings will have a common theme. Promo Marketing has asked...



Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
Wisdom from Lady Gaga
Mar 2, 2015

I recently watched the Academy Awards and was amazed at Lady Gaga’s tribute to “The Sound of Music.” If you...



Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
Feeling Reluctant?
Feb 17, 2015

Have you ever felt reluctant to make a sales call, follow up with a client or attend a networking event?...



Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
Measure the ROI at Trade Shows (Using the Right Mix of Creative and Promotional Products)
Dec 30, 2014

Every year more and more products are being introduced into the market, and after a while it all looks the...



Editor's Notes

Nichole Stella
The Perfect Match
Mar 5, 2013

The Super Bowl has also become the Ad Bowl, where brands duke it out to see who has the funniest,...



Embellished

Kyle Richardson
The Best Laid Plans
Jul 11, 2014

Why it's always smart to keep a planner with your schedule and important documents, and why it's never smart to...



Promotional Fashionista

Colleen McKenna
5 Soccer Promotions for After the World Cup
Jul 1, 2014

Studies show that Americans prefer soccer to NASCAR. Here are five items to sell to soccer fans....



The Hot Button

Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
"How It's Made" Can Make You More
Jun 11, 2014

The show "How Its Made" is celebrating its 22nd season on television. How can we be a hit, season after season,...



Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
Got Control Issues?
May 14, 2014

Does chaos define you? How you respond to certain situations says a lot about your character. Here are five quotes...



Big Picture Promo

Matt Kaspari, CAS
Meeting Clients Where They Are
Oct 24, 2013

Promotional marketing is at its best when it empowers a client’s brand, meets his or her objectives and fits within...



My Two Cents

Rick Brenner
For Promotional Product Sales, Protect Your Client's Brand
Jun 3, 2013

Whether you are selling to a global brand like Nike or to your local YMCA, no single asset is more...



Friday Sales-thought of the Week!

Dale Limes, MAS
Reverse Engineer Your Sales Success
Mar 18, 2013

Steven Covey reminds us that when setting goals ... "Start with the end in mind." That is to visualize the...



The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson
Think and Succeed
May 29, 2012

What would happen if you woke up in the morning and your first thought was, "I am never going to...



Creating More Purposeful Sales Conversations

Lisa Leitch, CSP, MAS
Under 100 Days to Achieve 2011 Goals
Oct 20, 2011

It's hard to believe, but there are fewer than 100 days left to achieve 2011 goals! Are you on track...



3 Ways to be Awesome at Decorating

 

Well hello everybody!

I just finished an article for our sister magazine Print + Promo about "consultative selling," a sales philosophy centered around solving clients' core marketing problems rather than just selling product. It's a neat idea I think, and a supposedly helpful tactic in getting your business to compete along lines other than price (helpful if you business is threatened by web stores/suppliers selling direct, since price advantage is more or less their only angle).

There are a lot of facets to the idea of consultative selling, and one I unfortunately didn't get to touch on in my article is the role artwork can play. Larry Mays, CAS, president of Boardwalk Marketing, an apparel contract decorating company located in Erie, Pa., which specializes in special effect screenprinting on apparel, was kind enough to talk to me about this role. He recently taught a class at PPAI Vegas called "How to Become A Consultative Art Sales Person," and had quite a bit of great info to share. I've trimmed down our conversation into my favorite parts, a short list on "3 Ways to be Awesome at Decorating."

1. Show Your Skills
"I believe the key is for sales people to be able to sit down with a brilliantly produced art portfolio and help a client conceive an art idea that will result in a great looking piece of apparel," said Mays. "The key is great art to show the client and a full understanding of the use of color, how an idea might work artistically and how to accomplish a sales or marketing goal through the use of a piece of decorated apparel," he said.

"How much of this consultative approach is needed if all your client wants is their logo on the left chest of their T-shirt? Obviously, not much," he said. "But if that is all your client wants, then don't be surprised when your client demands that you provide the lowest possible price for their shirts, or eliminates you altogether and buys their apparel online. It is the sales reps' job to show a client what is possible and entice the client to purchase something better," he explained. "Decorated apparel is not the same as any other promotional product. The potential for advertising impact is immense—but only if we do the job properly."  

2. Leave the Art for the Artists
"Everyone cannot be a 'genuine artist' capable of producing dynamic art for premium quality decorated apparel," said Mays. "It is no different than stating that everyone cannot be a singer or professional golfer or brain surgeon. To be truly a great 'artist' being an 'artist' is something that is 'who you are—not what you do for a living,'" he said.

"Sales reps and distributors should spend their time selling and nurturing and developing valuable and lasting client relationships. Art is something to be produced by professional artists," explained Mays.  

"Assume you have a client who is hosting a sales conference for their 300 sales reps. The theme is a 'South Seas Island Adventure.' They want a T-shirt that looks like Margaritaville with a parrot and a tiki bar and a margarita and messages on the sand, etc. They want bright, bold colors and they want attendees to wear that shirt 50 times. That can only be done by a creative artist."

3. Study Relevant Art as Much as Possible
"Distributors should devour art wherever they go, with the specific goal of not of becoming an 'artist,' but instead with the goal of becoming a 'consultative sales rep,'" said Mays. "I tell seminar attendees they should spend as much time as they can going to every retail store in malls that sell apparel that features art. Retail trends drive consumer interest," he explained. "I would also suggest looking in gift shops when on vacation-like Disney World or a beach resort. The more art that goes into your head the more likely you are, as a sales rep, to offer a good idea to a client. And then, provide clear instructions to the artist you work with to produce exactly what the client wants for their project," he said.

That's it for this week guys! Thanks for reading, and see you all next week!

Like my blog? Why not follow PM on Twitter or Facebook (or just me on RSS or LinkedIn) so you never miss a post? Thanks!

MONDAY MIKE FACT: Last week a reader asked to see a picture of me with my long, hippie-dippie hair. Far be it from me to disappoint, so here you go!


(Our office dress code is very strict on the "everyone has to wear a cape" point.)

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